‘Goodbye Julia,’ Cannes’ First Film From Sudan, Snapped Up by France’s ARP Sélection (EXCLUSIVE)

Paris-based distributor ARP Sélection has snapped up the timely Sudanese drama “Goodbye Julia” for French distribution ahead of its Cannes Un Certain Regard premiere next week.

The film, which is Sudanese director Mohamed Kordofani’s feature debut, marks the first feature from Sudan to bow from the Croisette and takes place just before the 2011 secession of South Sudan. In “Goodbye Julia,” two women — one from the North, the other from the South — are brought together by fate in a complex relationship that attempts to reconcile differences between northern and southern Sudanese communities.

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in an interview with Variety, Kordofani expressed the hope that his film “Can be the start of a movement for reconciliation between all the Sudanese people” in the war-ravaged country.

The two central roles are played respectively by Eiman Yousif and Sudanese supermodel Siran Riak (pictured above), making her big-screen acting debut. The cast also includes Nazar Goma and Ger Duany, who is known for his performance in “The Nile Hilton Incident.”

“Goodbye Julia” is produced by Amjad Abu Alala, director of “You Will Die at Twenty,” which won Venice Film Festival’s Lion of the Future award for best first feature in 2019.

ARP Sélection acquired “Goodbye Julia” from pan-Arab distributor MAD Solutions, which moved into international sales with this title.

“We were extremely moved by the beauty, intensity, narrative power and the emotion rising from this debut film, which positions Sudan on the map of world cinema,” commented Michèle Halberstadt of ARP in a statement. “We are also proud to start a new collaboration with MAD Solutions, one of the leading distribution and sales agent companies in the Middle East,” they added.

Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab, co-founders and co-CEOs of MAD Solutions, described the selection of “Goodbye Julia” at Un Certain Regard as a “turning point for the Sudanese film industry” and expressed their delight at ARP’s acquisition of the film. “We are confident the film is in safe, nurturing hands with ARP, who have established themselves as a leader in the distribution of boundary-pushing, eye-opening cinema throughout France,” they said.

ARP is a prominent French arthouse distributor whose recent titles include Jerzy Skolimowski Oscar-nominated “EO,” Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” and Jafar Panahi’s “No Bears,” winner of the Special Jury Prize at Venice last year.

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